Court orders payment
25 September, 2023, 3:45 pm
The High Court in Labasa has ordered a labour officer with the Ministry of Employment, Productivity and Industrial Relations and the ministry to pay a man $67,845.90.
Navneet Prasad suffered injuries while working as an electrician for Lincoln Refrigeration Ltd.
Following a complaint to the Ministry of Employment, Productivity and Industrial Relations, the company remitted $9100 to the labour office to be paid as the assessed sum of compensation to Mr Prasad.
Mr Prasad refused to accept the payment and claimed by agreeing on his behalf and accepting a sum of $9100, labour officers Mate Waqaisavou and Meli Bulitavu deprived him the rights to institute civil action against the employer for negligence.
He sued Mr Waqaisavou, Mr Bulitavo and the Ministry of Employment, Productivity and Industrial Relations to recover special and general damages for the losses caused to him.
“The court is of the view that insufficient care was shown in preparing and sending the agreement for the permanent secretary’s signature. The lack of care caused prejudice to the plaintiff (Mr Prasad) in that he has not been able to claim damages from the employer,” stated Javed Mansoor in his September 6 ruling.
“The plaintiff is right in saying that the first named first defendant (Mr Waqaisavou ) was negligent in performing duties under the Act.
“The first named first defendant was the labour officer in charge of the accident investigation and was in carriage of the plaintiff’s labour file from 2014. The second named first defendant (Mr Bulitavo) handled the investigation of the case in 2013 and handed over to the first named defendant in 2014.
“The section 16 agreement was put up for approval by the first named first defendant. The second named first defendant was not involved in the process of signing the section 16 agreement.
“A judgment is granted in favour of the plaintiff against the first named first defendant (Mr Waqaisavou ) and the second defendant (Ministry of Employment, Productivity and Industrial Relations.
“The defendants are to pay the plaintiff $67,845.90 within 28 days of this judgment.” Justice Mansoor also awarded $4000 in costs to Mr Prasad.